YORK TWP.— Medina County Career Center students took a trip back in time to learn the history of education in America.
Members of the York Historical Society — Eli and Sharon Beachy— acted as ambassadors of the past on Wednesday.
Dressed in period clothing, they led Career Center students who are enrolled in the Teacher Education Academy into the York Historical Schoolhouse and gave the group lessons in eighth-grade English language, geography, arithmetic and history as taught in 1880.
“It’s not going to be easy,” Beachy told the students.
Instructor Denise Gerspacher said this was the first time she has taken her class to the schoolhouse for an interactive lesson on the history of education, which is part of her curriculum at the Career Center.
After briefly establishing proper classroom protocol— boys sat on one side of the one-room schoolhouse and girls on the other— Beachy challenged the students’ creativity and critical-thinking skills.
The students created impromptu poems, attempted to solve CivilWar-era army codes and learned local geography.
York Township students in the past had to learn the name and location of all 17 townships inMedina County, Beachy explained.
Gerspacher said she was “impressed” with the level of education students received more than a century ago.
“Look at how many higher level thinking skills they learned,” she said of students in the 1880s.
In between lessons, the students played popular games of the 1880s.
Apparently, leap frog was popular, as well as a game called drop the hanky, which was similar to duck duck goose. “That was one of my requests,” Gerspacher said of having the students learn the games, which provided a break between lessons.
The students said the experience gave them insight into how much education has changed in 130 years.
“It makes you think about how different it is from today,” said Patrick Burris, 17, a student in the Teacher Education Academy. “We don’t concentrate on townships; it’s more global.”
“I thought it was a really neat experience to do,” said student Holly Phillips, also 17. “It’s cool to sit in and do what they did back then.”
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